Current Digital Security Resources

October 2019 Edition

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Time flies. Original image: danielhedrick (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This project is now retired. Last updated October 22, 2019.

Digital technology doesn’t die — it just ages really, really fast. Even the richest digital security resources become quickly out-of-date, and while there are a remarkable number of toolkits and guides for learning digital self-defense, relatively few have information you can use right now. This “meta-guide” highlights current resources, and tips on keeping them timely and relevant.

The following guides and toolkits were included based on a few key requirements: relevance, practical advice, accessible language, clear organization, and of course, up-to-date information. My hope is that the resulting list is rich with knowledge that can be put to work both by experts and non-experts today. I’ve broken up this list into categories based on the intended audience, followed by articles on specific security tools and practices.

Guides for a general audience, or multiple groups

Resources for journalists

Resources for harassment and abuse

Resources for activists and protesters

Resources for security trainers

Resources for lawyers

Resources for dangerous situations

Guides to specific tools and practices

While many of the above resources are broad overviews or contain many step-by-step guides, other recent resources are narrowly focused on specific tools and practices.

Signal for encrypted messaging, voice, and video calls

WhatsApp for encrypted messaging, voice, and video calls

Wire for encrypted messaging, voice, and video calls

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) email encryption

Password managers


Two-factor authentication

Virtual Private Networks

Disk encryption

Private browsing

Denial of service mitigation

Slightly less up to date, but worth reviewing

It’s an older guide, but it checks out.

Resources for journalists

Resources for activists and human rights defenders

Resources for security trainers

Resources for specific tools and practices

Keeping it real, current

There are many excellent guides available today, and even security professionals can have a tough time keeping up. Many of the guides are clearly one-time pieces. For others, it’s which intend to stay updated. When I could not find information about when each guide was updated, I reached out to many of the groups who developed these resources.

We want people new to security to have good information, and to be confident that they’re getting fresh information. This is why it’s so important to be transparent about the timeliness of our resources.

When developing security resources, we should aim to…

What do you think?

It’s likely there are other great resources to add. Did I forget something? Have an update to suggest that meets all of the same requirements outlined above? Reach out on Twitter at @mshelton or one of several encrypted channels.

Thanks for all the hard work from everyone who teaches, demonstrates, builds software, or publishes to defend safe access to information. ❤

Written by

Writing about security for journalists, as well as beginners. Principal researcher at @freedomofpress.

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